As I sit down to write this, there are slightly more than 24 hours left before 2016 departs to no one’s regret. I’m not going to talk about politics (in the sf field or the wider world), nor will I recite a litany of celebrity deaths.
In the past I’ve given an overview about the things I’ve read over the past 12 months. This has not been a good year for reading. There was too much going on to keep up the pace I had been maintaining. The best book I read all year wasn’t fantasy or science fiction. It was a mystery, A Brilliant Death by Robin Yocum. The characters stayed with me for days after I read the last paragraph and closed the book. That doesn’t happen very often.
Overall, based on what I’ve seen, this hasn’t been a great year for publishing. The major publishers haven’t exactly set sales records this year. I’ve seen reports from indie authors that they’re not seeing the sales they’ve seen in the past. What this means, I don’t know. Maybe the market for reading material, especially genre material, is saturating. Maybe everyone has been too distracted by current events.
Things have ramped up both at work and at home. My son started high school, which has caused some time constraints ranging from attending more band events to increased homework help. Enrollment is up, which means my load, both in the classroom and outside, has intensified. The end result is less time to read, blog, or write my own fiction. I’ve got several projects that I’ve back-burnered. Hopefully I can get back to them once things settle down and all the holiday travel is over. More on that in tomorrow’s post.
In conclusion, 2016 was not a great year. It’s almost over. This is probably good thing.
Normally I do a long post discussing my favorite books and publishers of the year, but I’m going to pass on that. Besides the thought of writing that kind of post simply making me tired, there were too many things I missed. I’ll mention a few favorites, but that’s all I’m going to do. Mostly this will be a recap of the year’s highlights and set some goals for next year. Continue reading →
And good riddance to it. But before I get to that, here’s a quick rundown of the publishers I thought had the best overall lines in 2014. Rather than do multiple posts across all the blogs, I’ll list everything here.
I received more review copies than I was able to read this year. I would like to thank everyone, large publisher or individual, who sent me something to review. I apologize if I didn’t get to it. Personal factors also cut into my reading more than I would prefer. Still, I managed to read quite a bit from a number of different publishers. What follows is a list of who had some of the best overall material in 2014 with a brief commentary. These are trade publishers, not indie publishers. In most cases, I’ll not discuss individual titles. Nor will I do a best books list. I wasn’t able to read as many titles as I wanted, and as a result there are some glaring omissions in what I did read.
As I promised in yesterday’s State of the Blogs post, here’s my summary of what I read this past year. I’m going to include both publishers and individual works that I thought were standouts, but due to length, I’m going to break the post in two. The list of year’s best authors and titles is here. Many of them are published by the publishers listed below.
I’m going to restrict this list to imprints that have distribution in the major chains. That means no small presses. Small presses tend to focus on reprints or collectible editions that are often priced for the collectors market.
Also, I’m going to list some science fiction and crime/noir titles and publishers as well. I’ve not read enough in those fields this past year to justify a separate post on Futures or Gumshoes. I plan for 2014 to be different on that point. Details in tomorrow’s post.
We’ll start with publishers, in alphabetical order (For publishers with more than one imprint, the imprint I read the most will be listed first.): Continue reading →